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27 Sept 2022

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A guide to medical negligence - items to be attended to by you | By Lynch Solicitors

A guide to medical negligence - items to be attended to by you  | By Lynch Solicitors

You can and should take many steps to help us prepare your case.

It would help if you bought a diary to record everything about your claim – how the medical incident happened, how you feel daily, medical visits and expenses.

It would help if you recorded everything as it happens.

You can also use all the benefits of modern technology to help you – such as apps for your smartphone or other devices.

If any witnesses can help explain your medical history and the incident or circumstances that may have caused your problem, be sure to get their names, addresses and telephone numbers.

Talk to them and see if they will talk to us.

If witnesses are reluctant to make a statement or to come to our office, you should let us know.

MAKE A STATEMENT OF HOW THE PROBLEM HAPPENED

At an early stage, it is essential that you write down in the fullest detail how the problem arose and what injuries you suffered.

You should set out the time, date and mechanics of the treatment or operation and why you believe the medical professional is at fault.

It is essential that you complete this statement at the earliest date.

You should include as much detail as you can remember, no matter how trivial.

You have no way of knowing at an early stage what will prove to be important as your case progresses.

We are happy to give you our pre-prepared forms that may help you in completing your statement.

RECORD YOUR INJURIES – TAKE A PHOTO

At the very earliest opportunity, you should also arrange to have photographs taken of any visible injuries you have suffered. This provides a valuable historical record when at a later date, many of the physical scars of an injury will have healed.

Your smartphone is a handy way to do this.

Make sure you tell us and any medical consultant about your symptoms and why you have physical and psychological concerns, no matter how trivial they may seem to you at the time.

Make sure that the consultant makes a note of these details.

It is tough to remember months or years after the problem surfaces how you felt in the "early days."

Use your diary or add an app to your smartphone.

Keep a record of present symptoms and from then on, record your condition regularly.

Sometimes an injury is exclusively psychological, such as sleeping difficulties, headaches, problems coping with simple everyday situations, constant tiredness, loss of memory, nightmares or flashbacks.

If any of these symptoms affect you, you should immediately bring them to our attention and your doctor's attention.

If your doctor suggests referring you to a specialist for an opinion on any aspect of your injuries, you should go ahead with the referral at the earliest possible date.

Advise us so we can get a report of that specialist's opinion.

RECORD OUT-OF-POCKET EXPENSES

You may have out-of-pocket expenses such as doctor's, travelling, pharmacy, and hospital fees after your accident.

f you have a loss of wages, give us your social welfare (PPS) number and any P60’s/P45s.

We will also need a letter from your employer stating your weekly loss of earnings – both net and gross.

You should use your diary or app to record details of all these expenses.

It would help if you kept copies of all invoices or receipts received. You could use your diary or app for this also.

THE OTHER SIDE MAY REQUEST A MEDICAL EXAM

The solicitors, on the other side, may request that you attend a medical examination arranged by them.

We will try to secure payment of your travelling expenses from the other side before you go to these medicals.

Before attending any medical, you may wish to discuss with us the format of the medical and what questions you are obliged to answer.

Make sure you give the doctor details of all injuries, no matter how trivial.

You should note that you are entitled to have someone present with you at these medical examinations if you feel the support would be beneficial.

On the other hand, medical examinations are conducted by highly professional doctors who will examine you with an independent and unbiased eye in consultation with your doctors.

VISIT THE COURT VENUE
Preparation and experience are two key elements to successfully presenting any court case.

However, the experience of the Court is something very few people have.

This is why it is a good idea to visit the Court a month or two before the case and watch how other cases are presented.

Visiting a court before your case allows you to see what happens and will help you to be less nervous when your day in Court comes.

Courts are public buildings, and the public is entitled to sit in on most cases except for family law matters.

PUT YOUR BEST FOOT FORWARD

It would help if you remembered that the day you attend the Court for your case is the only chance the Judge will have to see you and hear your evidence.

It is essential, therefore, that you create a good impression.

You should dress in a manner that shows proper respect for the Court and behave respectfully at all times.

In giving your evidence, you should ensure that the Judge can hear you properly and understand what you are saying.

It would help if you answered to the best of your ability any question put to you (and especially questions from the Judge).

For further information from Lynch Solicitors, click here

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